Comfortable FMPs!

Welcome to our world! Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products and issues.  Topics are approached with candor, intellect and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Los Angeles has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart and savvy.   Check out this week’s Hot Flash! Come-fck-me-pumps (or CFMP’s), as they were called when I was in my 20s, (those super-high-heels that we all squeezed our feet into and then hobbled across the dance floor to attract cute guys) were and still are a must-have staple for women in their 20s and 30s.  But after the endless blisters, bruised toes and achy feet,  I personally know that now we most likely would choose flip flops for comfort, instead of being sexy and in pain.  But, we can have both! This past weekend,  Hot Flash Universe headed for Montana Avenue in Santa Monica to seeks out the hottest, sexiest, “Comfortable FMPs” on the planet. Our first stop was Souliers (www.shopsouliers.com).  In business for more than 20 years, they carry a brand called Arche, created in 1968 in France’s Loire Valley, famous for its vineyards and world-class wines.  Oo-la-la! Just that they were created in the French wine region, is pretty sexy already. We conducted a cursory view of the selection.  Not much to see, but then — wait!  There was a cute pair of black shoes with cut outs, a pair of dressy black shoes with gold trim, a sophisticated snakeskin pump.  A few things to try on! Once we tried them on, our view of a sexy shoe was transformed.  Not only were they comfortable, they looked really hot on our feet!  We took...

Amici, A Great Place to Celebrate...

May 28 was my birthday. My awesome associate Dienna took me to lunch. I chose to go to Amici. I have passed the place for years on my way home from work, and just never got there. Today was the day! We parked in the back of the establishment, with plenty of valet parking. The friendly valet took the keys and safely parked my BMW X1 (my new Baby SUV) in a wide spot. We then walked into the restaurant and were pleasantly surprised. The interior resembled a farmhouse, with exposed brick walls and wooden beams. The tables were covered with white tablecloths, adding an air of elegance. We were handed menus, as well as fresh bread and two complementing condiments. One of them was a dish of diced tomatoes marinated in olive oil, garlic and other spices, and the second one resembled hummus. After tasting it, we immediately knew what is was – a creamy, delicious white bean dip! I began to scoop some up with the bread. So delicious. I eventually went to the tomatoes instead of the bread. White bean dip with tomatoes; it was gonna be a great birthday lunch! The menu was decidedly Tuscan with a rustic culinary theme. Dishes that I will try on my next visit is the Tonno Tartare (Ahi Tuna tartare in a light, spice sesame oil) for $16.95, the Insalata Di Barbabietole Con Mele e Formaggio (beet salad with diced apples, walnuts and crumbled blue cheese) for $12.95 and the Pizza Al Proscuitto e Bufala Mozzarella (Margherita with Bufala Mozzarella and sliced Parma prosciutto) for $17.95. Abondanza! Today, we ordered pasta. I ordered the Fusilli Alla Boscaiola ($17.50), corkscrew pasta with peas, mushrooms and Italian sausage in alight white sauce. The combination of the...

Belly Be Gone!

Welcome to our world! Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products and issues.  Topics are approached with candor, intellect and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Los Angeles has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart and savvy.   Check out this week’s Hot Flash! Earlier this month, I woke up and looked in the mirror.  AAAAAAHHH!  I was turning into my Granny Annie — in the belly at least.  Seemingly overnight!  I turned 50, and wham! Didn’t even see it coming. I rushed to squeeze on Spanx.  Oh-oh, even those were not helping! In a panic, I turned to a well-known personal trainer and weight lifting champion, Fabian, calling him at 7:00a that morning.  I asked, how many sit ups do I need to do to get rid of my belly? His answer surprised me.  “None, ” he said.  I wondered if he was still sleeping. Once I made him drink a cup of coffee while talking to me, to make sure he really was awake, I learned  that no amount of spot reducing or abdominal exercises will get rid of my bulging belly.   Denial and acceptance of a bigger belly in women over 50 was not the answer either, as so many of us (aka me) have done.  Although Fabian acknowledged that as people age, especially women over 50, metabolism slows down, muscle mass is lost and fat tends to be stored in the belly.  But, he said, “You don’t have to condemn yourself to having a big belly just because you’re over 50.  I have a proven formula to lose weight.” His answer was something I expected.  The best way...

Creamy, Decadent Hot Chocolate and Flavorful Healing Tea Mixtures from Italy make the Scene on Montana at New Spazio Caffe...

A week or so ago, my friend who follows my column called to rave about a new Italian cafe.  She said that they had just opened, and I should check it out.  I trusted her judgment, so off I went, not really knowing what to expect. Maybe some pasta, Italian salads, cheese — you know, the usual Italian standards.  Yes, they have a small menu dedicated to these items, but the real draw is the multi-page menu of authentic Italian hot chocolate, and another multi-page menu of teas! This place is so different than anything out there.  First off, it’s tiny.  I had to drive up and down Montana at least three times before spotting the place.  It’s very stark and modern, like the new cafes in Italy.  As we walked in, there were approximately eight tables.  Just past the tables, to the right there was a long wall stocked with teas, chocolate and coffee you can buy and take home with you.  Across from this display was a small area to order.  Small, but mighty! The owner explained their offerings to us.  They are from Travisi, Italy, where this restaurant concept was conceived.   He gave us a quick history lesson about chocolate:  Chocolate, the food of the gods, comes from the cocoa bean.  From the time it existed, it has been consumed in particular as a drink, often enriched with spices, honey, hazelnuts, aromatic herbs and fruit.  And its history goes back to ancient times. The cocoa plant was first cultivated in 1000 BC  by the Mayans, followed by the Aztecs.  The fruit of the cocoa plant was so valuable that it was used as money; and was reserved for the noble elite. Flash forward to 2013.  Dienna and I are pursuing the...

Capo, a Rustic, Tuscan Farmhouse near the Ocean...

My friends Nancy and Marlene and I got  together to do a Good Taste review last week.  Marlene selected the restaurant.  She chose one of her favorite establishments, Capo.  Created by Chef/Owner Bruce Marder in the 1990’s, it’s near the beach in a freestanding, red-gabled house, with one of the prettiest dining rooms in the City.  It’s rustic, yet elegant, with high-beam wood ceilings, white table clothes and candles, and a bright, wood-burning fireplace in the back corner that’s used for cooking as well as ambiance. We walked through a heavy velvet curtain that revealed a warm, cozy setting.  All tables were full and buzzing with excitement and energy.  We were shown to a comfortable corner table, which was Marlene’s regular perch when she frequents the place. Capo’s cuisine can be described as Italian-style, with homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and fireplace-grilled meats.  We ordered to share.  First the Maryland Crab Torta ($28.00), followed by  Spaghettini with olive oil, tomato and fresh herbs ($24.00). We finished by sharing a New York Steak ($53.00). The Crab Torta was amazing, with mounds of crab and resembled a very large crab cake but much, much better.  We gobbled it up.   The pasta was fresh, simple and delicious.  A great second course.  Marlene said the steaks were some of the best in Los Angeles.  She was right.  Cooked and seasoned to perfection, I no longer have to travel to Beverly Hills on Canon to get a great steak.  It was world class. Other items on the menu I must try on my next visits to Capo include the Porcini Mushroom Soup ($16.00), the Duck Slider Foie Gras($28.00), the White Corn Ravioli with Black Truffles ($32.00), Rigatoni with Truffle Meat Sauce ($26.00), and the Artisan Cheese Selection ($24.00).  Yes, I...